The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose

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Ousted from her family by her new stepmother, Eliza Rose makes her way to London - only to be thrown straight into prison for stealing a mouthful of bread. Her life takes some remarkable twists as she is rescued and befriended by the infamous actress Nelly Gwyn. Nelly introduces her to the courtly intrigue, politics, and glamour of the court of King Charles II, as well as a handsome young man known as Valentine Howard. Eliza is smitten with him, yet their love cannot be, as she is only a lowly maid from the ...
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Ousted from her family by her new stepmother, Eliza Rose makes her way to London - only to be thrown straight into prison for stealing a mouthful of bread. Her life takes some remarkable twists as she is rescued and befriended by the infamous actress Nelly Gwyn. Nelly introduces her to the courtly intrigue, politics, and glamour of the court of King Charles II, as well as a handsome young man known as Valentine Howard. Eliza is smitten with him, yet their love cannot be, as she is only a lowly maid from the country and he is an aristocrat. But a twist of fate just may unravel a long-hidden secret that could bring them together after all.

Mary Hooper has created an incredibly detailed and exciting story that brings readers into the heart of 17th century London. With vibrant characters and non-stop action, this whirling, romantic tale is sure to become a favorite.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
The prologue sets the stage for the story that follows, telling the tale of a baby girl swapped at birth. The story continues fifteen years later when Eliza Rose is thrown out of her stepmother's home and arrives in London in search of her father, who is working as a mason rebuilding the city after the Great Fire. With no money or shelter, Eliza finds herself in Clink Prison. Her remarkable beauty catches the eye of Old Ma Gwyn, who sees the girl's potential for one of her nefarious sideshow schemes. Gwyn's daughter Nell, an actress cum prostitute, rescues her from her embarrassing role as a scantily clad mermaid and introduces her to the world of the theater. Eliza eventually becomes Nell's maid when she becomes mistress to the King (Charles II) and becomes privy to all the nuances of court intrigue in the 17th century. Eliza does finally find her father, only to be told she is in fact not his child—and she begins a quest to find her true identity. Indeed Eliza's life is remarkable, and eager readers will easily enter into her story of intrigue and romance. In her search for truth, Eliza helps a love-struck young lady of noble birth, must avoid the lecherous advances of Henry Monteagle, and secretly pines for the handsome nobleman Valentine Howard. The story skillfully blends mystery as Eliza unravels the circumstances of her birth, with the harsh reality of life among the lower echelon of London society that is in sharp contrast to life within the palace walls. All the sights, sounds, and smells of 17th century London come alive and draw the reader in, and the excellent writing keeps her riveted throughout. The fairy tale ending is the perfect reward for both Eliza Rose and thereader. Be forewarned that there is much mention of bawdy houses, loss of virginity, and sexual peccadilloes.
VOYA - Leslie Baker
London is a scary place to be in the seventeenth century, especially for Eliza Rose. After being forced out of her family's country home by her stepmother, Eliza makes her way to London. With no money and no one to turn to, she ends up being thrown into prison for stealing food. When Old Ma Gywn, keeper of a tavern and brothel in London, hears Eliza singing, she decides to pay the way for the country girl to get out of prison. Eliza eventually ends up as a maid to Nell, Ma Gywn's daughter and the newest mistress of King Charles II. Eliza is introduced to life at court and eventually secrets from her own past are discovered. This Cinderella-like tale revels in describing as many aspects of English life in the seventeenth-century London as possible. The colorful world described by the author is beautifully filled out, but the characters and story are two-dimensional and predictable. There are many descriptions of the sexual promiscuity of the nobles, although they are never explicit. Eliza provides a window into these actions but she never participates and is always rescued from any bad situation by someone else. This novel would make a comfortable read for fans of historical fiction and romances.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Hooper takes readers to 17th-century London in this novel about Eliza Rose, who is thrown out of her house by her stepmother. The prologue, set in 1655, tells of a girl baby being swapped at birth for a boy to please the father. The novel then jumps ahead 15 years. When Eliza arrives in London to search for her father, she steals some food and finds herself in Clink Prison, with its rats, sewage, lice, and deadly fever. While begging at the gate, she encounters handsome Valentine Howard. Their paths cross often, but both realize that love cannot be between a noble and a girl from the lower class. Old Ma Gwyn, the madam of a bawdyhouse, spots her and gets her released. When she promises Eliza to a young nobleman for one night, Nell Gwyn, Ma's infamous actress daughter, rescues her. Eliza is then swept into the world of the theater and the court of King Charles II. Nell, who unabashedly is mistress to many men, aspires to and succeeds at being the King's whore. In the end, a long-hidden secret is revealed when Eliza meets her real mother. The down-and-dirty side of the city comes alive through the author's descriptions of its sights, sounds, and smells. The novel is replete with historical people, events, and details, making it an exemplary work of historical fiction. This engrossing, fast-paced novel, with its determined, well-drawn protagonist, is a winning combination of history and fairy-tale tropes.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Eliza Rose-cast out by her stepmother and imprisoned in 17th-century London for stealing a meat pie-is rescued by Ma Gwyn from the clink because of her green eyes and black hair. The crafty Ma sees a future for Eliza that may include whoring. But the stubborn Eliza is rescued by Ma's daughter Nell, a vivacious actress and dancer who strives to be-and soon is-mistress to King Charles II, with Eliza as her companion and maid. While there's a lot of period detail, Eliza herself seems willfully naive and remarkably ignorant. Nell is the most vivid character, but she's drawn in broad strokes; there's more depth of feeling in the description of clothing and carriages than in that of any of the characters. Eliza's own story comes clear in a most fairytale-like ending complete with a possible suitor named Valentine. (cast of characters and places) (Historical fiction. 12-15)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780747575825
  • Publisher: Gardners Books
  • Publication date: 9/4/2006
  • Sales rank: 1,087,331

Meet the Author

Mary Hooper began writing short stories for women's and teen magazines. She now focuses solely on books. She is the author of Amy, At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, and Petals in the Ashes. Mary lives in Eversley Cross, England.

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Table of Contents

Big Wicked 1
Don't Steal 2
Haiku 2
I Told a Lie Today 3
Matilda 4
Huff 6
I'm in a Rotten Mood 8
As the Saying Goes ... 9
Old SwearWord 10
The Mobile Sting 12
Lost on Level Seven 14
Eddy Scott Goes Out to play 16
No Rest for the Wicked 19
The Dream-Stealers 20
Hunger 22
The Deserted Village 23
Ghost Town 24
The Evil Doctor Mucus Spleen 26
Scarecrow 28
Hallowe'en 29
Witches' Chant 30
In the Green Wood 32
Nanny Neverley 35
The Last Witch in Nantwich 36
Unstable Mabel 37
The Stones 38
Mrs Dungeon Brae 40
Jamjar 42
Alternative Endings to an Unwritten Ballad 44
White Ones 46
By the Pricking of My Thumbs 47
Lazy Witch 48
The Wind in a Frolic 49
Child on Top of a Greenhouse 52
To Fly ... 53
Flight of the Roller-Coaster 54
Like Rollerblades 55
Brother and Sister 56
Sometimes 58
Cradle Song 59
Dave Dirt's Christmas Presents 60
A Song About Myself 61
Don't-Care Didn't Care 62
Mama, Mama 63
Tender-Heartedness 63
The Adventures of Isabel 64
Fair Play* 66
Prayer of the Selfish Child 66
Homework 67
The Cane 68
Bad Report - Good Manners 70
Play No Ball 71
It wasn't me 72
My Furry Feet 74
Tongue-Twister 76
Goodfellow 77
The Kleptomaniac 78
Troll 80
The Sleepy Giant 81
The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb 82
The Devil 84
The Fairies 85
The Visitor 88
The Huntsman 90
The GirlWho Lit the First Fire 92
Anne Boleyn 94
Lord Lovelace 96
Empty House 98
The Third Fiddler's Story 99
Stepmother 100
While I Practise My Piano 101
If 102
The Sad Story of Terrible Trevor 103
Leviathan 108
Limps 109
The Boyhood of Dracula 110
Vlad 112
Wicked 113
Wicked or What 114
Eve 115
Claud 115
Mafia Cats 116
Macavity: The Mystery Cat 118
A Ransom for a Cat 120
Song of the Worms 122
The Snake's Revenge 124
My Pony 126
Lone Dog 127
Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog 128
Max 130
The Elephant 132
Dragon at a Party 133
Shadow 134
The Spiders Cast Their Spell 135
The Hump 136
The Greedy Alligator 138
How Doth the Little Crocodile 139
The Art of Dying 140
Legend 142
Power 144
This is a Photograph of Me 146
Wicked 148
Iciclist 149
This Poem is Soooo *Prop* 150
We Real Cool 151
Bully 152
Something made me do it! 154
The Village Burglar 156
The Smiling Villain 156
Neighbourhood Watch 157
Barbara the Barbarian 158
The Pirate 159
Song of the Galley-slaves 160
If All the Seas 161
The World's Worst Super-Villain 162
Confessions of a Failed Super Villain 163
Charlotte O'Neil's Song 164
Portrait of My Lover as a Teaspoon 166
Notting Hill Polka 167
Vanity Song 168
Buinneach Bui 169
Entrails 170
Say Cheese 171
He and She 172
Midnight Street 173
Poem 174
If People Disapprove of You ... 176
GBH 178
'Waiter, there's a thug in my salad!' 180
Yobs 182
The Cake that Makes You Scream 184
Dream and Forgetting 186
Don't Be Scared 187
Lullabye 188
Index of first lines 190
Index of author names 195
Acknowledgments 197
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